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RUGBY: Trowbridge 26 North Dorset 7
TROWBRIDGE ensured their new Doric Field home was christened in style as they opened their Southern Counties South account with a bonus-point victory on Saturday.
Steve Ojomoh’s men, beaten by Wells in their league opener last week, delivered a dominant first-half display to emerge as comfortable victors against their visitors, who were relegated from South West One West at the end of last season.
Throwing open the doors on their new multi-million pound facility at Hilperton for a first team game for the first time, the home side ensured there was no sour end to a landmark day for the club as they seized control of the match in the opening 40 minutes.
Fly-half Lloyd Davis missed an early penalty shot, but it was all one-way traffic as Trowbridge ploughed forward, leaving the Dorset defence at full stretch.
The first senior try at the new ground arrived just five minutes in as centre Adam Sullivan and Davis drove forward and the inevitable overlap allowed full-back Ashley Chalk to touch down.
Davis was off target with the conversion, but the home pack were in the ascendancy, shunting their rivals backwards impressively at one scrum while the visitors’ attempt to get on the scoreboard was foiled when Jay Westcar was well off target with a penalty midway through the half.
Trowbridge though they had extended the lead when Davis kicked a penalty to the corner, the forwards drove from the lineout and first wing Nicky Little, then prop Sean Jones were denied scores by unsighted referee Andy Robinson.
The second try did arrive when number eight Shane Johnstone charged off the back of a scrum and Davis’ long miss-pass found wing James McFarlane, who skipped inside three defenders to go over.
Davis added the conversion and Little was then denied a try for a second time, despite seemingly going over the line.
Shortly before the break, Trowbridge did score a third when, Dorset lost possession and Chalk counter-attacked, send McFarlane in for his second in acres of space.
The away side started the second half strongly, but Trowbridge’s defence stood up well, not withstanding Sullivan being inexplicably sent to the sin-bin after his side had been awarded a penalty.
McFarlane was denied his hat-trick as centre Joe Knight’s scoring pass to him was deemed forward but Trowbridge piled forward seeking the bonus-point score.
Eventually, the defence cracked and Jones ploughed over from close range, Davis’ replacement Tom Weaver adding the extras.
The home side’s momentum slowed after that, not helped by the sin-binning of lock Adam Chadwick, but North Dorset’s late converted try was merely a consolation.
REACTION & PICTURES FROM THE MATCH AND THE OPENING OF TROWBRIDGE'S NEW GROUND PLUS MORE RUGBY REPORTS & REACTION IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES.
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